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Could You Have Anxiety and Not Know It?

Plenty of people experience anxiety for years before realizing that it’s interfering with their lives. You can suffer symptoms without recognizing them, especially if you’ve been having anxiety for much of your life. 

Certain patterns of thinking can feel inescapable or central to your personality, but treatment and therapy can open doors in your life and help you find a new sense of self.  

At Genesis Psychiatric Solutions, board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Ifeanyi Olele provides a range of mental health services, including treatment for common conditions like anxiety. You can access these services through in-person appointments or via telepsychiatry.  

What makes anxiety dangerous 

What one person might consider a nervous or withdrawn personality could very easily be an anxiety disorder in plain sight. People with anxiety are challenged every day. Things like phone calls, errands, social outings, family gatherings, public transport, and even simply being seen by others can be difficult.

Feelings of being under a microscope  are compounded by other sources of anxiety in people’s lives. These include everyday stressors including money, work, school, and family, as well as more intense causes of stress such as grief or trauma. 

Anxiety can make it difficult to confront and resolve problems, making life harder and more stressful. 

Over time, chronic anxiety can lead to general health complications including an increased risk of heart disease and depression. This is why you should take stress, tension, and unwanted thoughts seriously. 

Subtle signs of anxiety 

Subconscious anxiety can go undetected for years. This type of anxiety is especially common in people who have developed their own coping mechanisms to push past anxiety and stress, rather than addressing it. 

This isn’t a productive way to live life, and can only worsen your mental health. Instead of focusing on getting through the day, or even just the next task in front of you, it’s important to address how you feel and look for these subtle signs of anxiety: 


This need to complete tasks fully or perfectly can stem from many things, most importantly anxiety. In the workplace, you might get praise for perfectionism, but it’s not good for you, your relationships, or your career in the long term. 


Indecisiveness and a feeling of brain fog when presented with an improvised situation is a common sign of anxiety, causing you to freeze up when ordering food, answering questions, or making weightier decisions. 


It’s good to sit down and introspect from time to time, but ruminating on your own for too long can worsen your mental state. Stop returning to the same topics and problems over and over, and instead find a way to address them productively. 

Intrusive thoughts

If a thought is unwanted, unproductive, and recurring, it could be intrusive. Sometimes your brain subconsciously proposes ideas and concepts to reassess how you feel about them. If these are interfering with your life in some way, it’s likely the result of anxiety. 

Being easily overwhelmed 

It’s not unusual to burst into tears when you’re angry, happy, thrilled, or otherwise overcome with emotion. But if you struggle to manage your emotions and become overwhelmed easily, anxious thoughts may be to blame. 

Anxiety can also cause physical symptoms, like sweating, hyperventilating, fatigue, and insomnia. If you have concerns that anxiety is affecting your well-being, call us at Genesis Psychiatric Solutions or request a consultation online

We have locations in Fairfax and Alexandria, Virginia, and Washington, DC.

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